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Chuang receives Microoptics Conference Award

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By Tom Moone, ECE ILLINOIS
March 14, 2012

  • ECE Professor Shun Lien Chuang was a recipient of the 2011 Microoptics Conference Award.
  • The award recognizes work he has been doing to develop nanolasers.
  • He and his research team have been developing a metal cavity for nanoscale semiconductor lasers, which is a unique approach in the field.

Shun Lien Chuang
Shun Lien Chuang

ECE Professor Shun Lien Chuang was a recipient of the 2011 Microoptics Conference (MOC) Award for “significant contributions to micro/nano lasers and plasmonics.”

Chuang is the Robert C. MacClinchie Distinguished Professorship in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and he is a researcher in the Micro and Nanotechnology Lab. He has been conducting research on optolectronics, nanophotonics, and superlattice photodetectors.

“I feel honored,” said Chuang of this recognition, which is given out every two years. He believes this award recognizes the work he and his students have been doing to develop nanolasers, which could have an impact on future intrachip optical interconnect.  “We’ve made some progress [in that area],” said Chuang. “The idea is to make semiconductor lasers ultra small so that you can have high density photonics integration on a single chip for optical data processing.”

In conjunction with receiving this award, Chuang presented a plenary talk at the 2011 Microoptics Conference, which was held in Sendai, Japan, on October 31- November 2, 2011. It was the first major international conference after the earthquake and tsunami hit Fukushima in Japan on March 11, 2011. The attendance showed a strong support for the recovery of the area and the economy. There was also a charity “microconcert” open to the public as a special event. Chuang was glad to have the chance to show moral support. 

His talk was titled “Metal-Cavity Nanolasers: How Small Can They Go?” One approach that Chuang and his group are using is developing a metal cavity for the nanoscale semiconductor lasers. “In this field, people don’t like metals,” he explained. “Metals are very lossy. So you need to optimize—how do you design semiconductors, insulators, and the metals to keep the right dimensions so the wave doesn’t leak too much in to the metals?”

Chuang is a recipient of the Humboldt Award for Senior US Scientists (2008), the William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award from the IEEE Lasers and Electrooptics Society (2007), the Engineering Excellence Award from the Optical Society of America (2004), and the Andersen Consulting Award for Excellence in Advising (1994). He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, IEEE, the Optical Society of America, and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. He is regularly included on the University’s List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent.

Editor's note: media inquiries should be directed to Brad Petersen, Director of Communications, at bradp@illinois.edu or (217) 244-6376.

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